Dear Tabby, We’re interested in adopting a senior pet soon, but are concerned about bringing an animal into our home who might have long-held bad manners that can’t be reversed (due to old age). What do you think...are senior dogs trainable? Skeptical of senior pets in Shady Grove Dear Skeptical, In case you didn’t know, November is Adopt A Senior Pet month, so in shelters across the area, you’re likely to get a great deal on a slightly older pet. These pets all come fully-vetted and spayed or neutered with a clean bill of health. Also, you’re in luck because the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” just doesn’t hold water with most dogs. In fact, there are even some basic commands that you can teach your older dog at home that will greatly help him to … [Read more...] about Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Dear Tabby, This is our first time to have a dog and she’s already showing a lot of interest in the Halloween candy. I’ve heard that chocolate is toxic to dogs and now I’m worried that she’ll get into it this Halloween season. What happens if she gets into chocolate and what should we do? Concerned about Candy in The Heights Dear Concerned, There are several factors that play into this problem. First of all, the degree to which your dog is affected by chocolate depends on her size and on the type of chocolate she gets into. In most cases, the more bitter and darker the chocolate a dog has ingested, the greater the risk of her getting poisoned.The amount of chocolate a dog can ingest without serious adverse effects is relative to the size of the dog as well. Where a 75-pound … [Read more...] about Beware of Canine chocolate poisoning this Halloween
Dear Tabby, Is it safe to let my dog ride in the back of my truck? I see a lot of people with dogs in the back of a truck and it makes me nervous. What do you think? Tailgating in Timbergrove Dear Tailgating, Most dogs love to ride in a vehicle--their nose out the window, ears flopping in the wind. It seems as though a ride in the back of a truck would be every dog’s dream come true, but in reality, it can turn into a real nightmare for both you and your dog. For starters, dogs can’t “hold on” the way humans can, and any sudden start, stop, or turn can toss your pet onto the highway. If the impact of hitting the road at a high speed doesn’t kill him, oncoming traffic probably will. It is estimated that at least 100,000 dogs die this way each year. There are other … [Read more...] about It’s Tailgating Season – but not for your dog
Dear Tabby, When I went to get my dog’s heartworm meds recently, they said that he needed a heartworm test before they would refill his heartworm medicine prescription. I hadn’t budgeted for extra blood work and am curious if the vet is trying to scam me. What do you think? Sceptical in Shepherd Park Plaza Dear Sceptical, I understand how unexpected vet bills can certainly blow your budget--especially when it seems like superfluous testing--but vets recommend doing yearly testing to make sure that heartworms don’t injure your pet...even if you’ve been religious about giving him the preventative medication. Here’s why: Heartworm preventatives can’t stop mosquitos from carrying heartworm larvae to your dog. Instead, they kill the larvae before they mature, reproduce and … [Read more...] about Scepticism over a yearly heartworm test
Dear Tabby, As my cat is getting older, I often wonder if she’s comfortable and completely healthy. It’s so hard to tell if she’s 100% or not, the older she gets. How can I tell if she’s in pain or not? Concerned about kitty’s comfort in Cottage Grove Dear Concerned About Kitty, This is indeed a timely question because September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) launched Animal Pain Awareness Month in the hopes that more pet guardians learn about and recognize pain in their pets. Unlike other companions, it’s hard for a cat to show their pain. Evolution is working against well-meaning guardians. According to the Okaw Veterinary Clinic, as both predators and prey, disguising pain can save a cat’s life: “The … [Read more...] about Is your older cat comfortable?